Aquaria, taxidermy, live animals, cabin highlight exhibits this year
PRATT — The 2010 Kansas State Fair — Sept. 10-19 — offers a wide variety of sights, sounds, food, music, and other entertainment, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) brings a different kind of wild outdoor experience to the fair. The KDWP exhibit, located in the Eisenhower Building, gives fairgoers a chance to see replicas of state record fish and deer mounts, the Operation Game Thief display, aquaria teeming with dozens of fish species, and live snakes. Natural resource officers and staff from KDWP education centers will be on hand to answer questions.

KDWP’s mobile aquarium will set up next to Gate 9, on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds. The 40-foot long aquarium holds 3,200 gallons and displays many Kansas sportfish and nongame fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass (wiper), bluegill, green sunfish, longear sunfish, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, buffalo, common carp, walleye, sauger, saugeye, redear sunfish, black crappie, white crappie, longnose gar, spotted gar, and freshwater drum.

Viewers have a special chance to see native live fish up close, and fisheries biologists are on hand to answer questions and demonstrate fishing techniques from the aquarium’s casting platform.

Near Lake Talbot on the fairgrounds, KDWP will display a cabin much like those available for rent at Kansas state parks and wildlife areas, and visitors may enter a drawing for free cabin weekends. Governor Mark Parkinson will be on hand to draw the lucky winners for free weekend cabin stays on Friday, Sept. 17 at 9:15 a.m. More than 90 cabins are now available at 20 state parks and five wildlife areas, offering visitors comfortable, convenient accommodations.

For more information on the KDWP State Fair exhibit, phone 620-672-5911.